3i2 HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION when the Prussian law code, after reaffirming that " the schools and universities are State institutions," went on to declare that " children who have to be educated in accordance with the laws of the State in another religion than that taught in a public school, cannot be compelled to take part in the religious instruction given in that school."* If France lagged behind Germany in establishing a national system of education, it was not from any lack of belief in the necessity for it on the part of men of all sorts and conditions. Following La Chalotais in the advocacy of State education came a succession of notable writers : Rolland in a Report to the Parlia- ment of Paris over which he presided (1768), Rousseau in his Considerations on the Government of Poland (1772), Helvetius in the posthumously published treatise On Man (1772), Turgot, economist and statesman, in his Memoirs to the king (1775), Diderot in the Plan for a University written for the Empress of Russia (1776). Amidst much diversity, these all agree that the State and the State alone should undertake the education of the future citizen, and that the teachers should be mainly, if not wholly, laymen. Nor was there any lack of definiteness with regard to the organization of the national system or even with regard to the subjects that should be taught. Rolland (1734-1794), for example, though a lawyer and not a teacher, had an extensive acquaintance with educational work, and the proposals he had to make in the Report already mentioned were all thoroughly practical. His programme of studies was based on Rollin's Treatise, but he had brought it up to date by recognizing that special attention needed to be paid to French history and language in the interests of good citizenship, and that there should be separate teachers for the sciences. Unlike La Chalotais, he believed in universal education. " Everyone,'* he maintained, " should have the opportunity to get the education most suitable for him." And he envisaged an ascending series of schools and colleges throughout the land to provide this education : first, the country schools where the children could at least learn to read and write, then what he called " semi-colleges " in the smaller towns, where the pupils would study the French language and the elements of Latin and history, and get the fundamentals of religion and morals ; then higher colleges for the best of the young people * P. 530.